We welcome this guest post by Jenny Arena-Galati of Fables and Focaccia. Jenny shares our passion for maintaining Italian traditions for our future generations and has a magic touch when it comes to pastries in particular.
The popular pastry “Zeppole di San Giuseppe” are made on March 19th to honor the feast of St. Joseph, in Italy and abroad and are separate and distinct from the Calabrian Zeppole we enjoy on Christmas Eve. Traditionally these zeppole are also fried, however, this version is lightened up by baking the pastry shell instead. If you cannot find Amarena Sour Cherries you can also use a good quality Cherry Jam. To substantially shorten the preparation time (which includes 2 hours for cooling) you can use store bought custard for the filling as an alternative as well!
- 1 cup of water
- 1⁄2 cup of unsalted butter
- 1⁄2 teaspoon of Aurora Fine Sea Salt 1kg
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
- 1 1⁄3 cups of Polselli Italian Flour Type 00 Classica 1kg bag
- 4 eggs
- 1 jar of Amarena Sour Cherries
- 4 eggs
- 4 teaspoons of sugar
- 4 teaspoons of Polselli Italian Flour Type 00 Classica 1kg bag
- 2 cups of milk
- Preheat the oven 425 F
- Line baking sheets with parchment paper or Silpats
- For the pastry, combine first 4 ingredients in a medium pot
- Cook over medium heat until boiling (approx. 4 minutes).
- Remove from heat & gradually stir in flour until well blended.
- Return the pot to heat
- Continue cooking while stirring vigorously for 2 min.
- Remove from heat once again
- Add 4 eggs one at a time, mixing well between additions.
- Fit a pastry bag with a large star tip
- Fill bag & pipe out circular shapes (as small or as large as desired)
- Bake on middle rack for 15-20 min. until puffed up and golden brown.
- Let cool completely on a wire rack
- Slice in half to prepare for filling.
- For the filling, combine remaining & last 4 ingredients in a saucepan
- Cook over medium heat for 20 minutes stirring constantly.
- Remove from the heat and allow to cool for 2 hours.
- Brush the two halves of the pastry shell with cherry liquid or jam. (optional)
- Place custard filling in a pastry bag
- Pipe custard over the bottom half of the shell
- Top with as many of the halved cherries as desired.
- Place the top half of the pastry over the filling
- Pipe additional dots of custard to hold the cherry garnishes on top.
- Lightly dust the finished zeppole with powdered sugar before serving.
- Serve immediately to ensure the light and crisp texture of the pastry.